CEO Christine Egan: Witnessing Efficiency in Action in India
India is close to my heart — it is one of CLASP’s longest-running programs and the first place I went after I became CEO. Before the pandemic, these trips were an annual guarantee, packed with policymaker meetings and visits with our partners. Though we took a three-year pause, during my visit at the end of 2022 it was evident that critical work continues to happen through intentional collaboration. India’s energy and climate achievements hadn’t paused for the pandemic.
The CLASP India team inaugurated the new office in New Delhi, which will serve as a home base for our growing team that doubled (!) in size despite a worldwide shift in how we work. Being in a regional CLASP office gave me the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of much-missed colleagues and some of our newer faces. Now that many of us work remotely, these office gatherings have acquired a different spirit and make in-person meetings something to relish, even just for the few minutes before official business begins.
Outside of our office, I met with key policymakers who consistently leave me in awe of their dedication to high-quality, high-impact work. These close working relationships are behind our success in India, particularly with appliance efficiency and standardization.
The marquee event of the week brought together more than 60 people to discuss the implementation of the India Cooling Action Plan. In the capital, CLASP hosted the event in collaboration with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to discuss the accessibility and affordability of vital cooling appliances. I watched these candid discussions between consumer forum representatives, manufacturing associations, government agencies, philanthropies, and think tanks. The conversations provided insight into the extensive coordination and cooperation necessary to run energy efficiency programs that capture the diverse needs of everyone involved. The focus is not solely on cutting CO₂ and reducing energy demand, but also on ensuring that the energy transition is affordable and equitable across a vast market.
We closed our week with a team discussion about the past year and the immense strides made toward India’s ambitious climate goals. Seeing the evolution of our work over the past two decades has shown me how India’s policy choices seek to balance development needs and climate imperatives. During my last dinner, we ended with personal reflections: I have profound gratitude for our colleagues, our growing team in India, and the life-changing work they do for people and the planet.